Head-to-head: Vanderbilt vs. Connecticut

Next up for Vanderbilt is a trip up North to Connecticut. VandyMania.com compares different critical team areas of Vanderbilt and Connecticut and indicates which team has the edge. We also predict who will win the game.

VANDERBILT
EDGE
AREA
Connecticut
EDGE
COMMENTS
EVEN  
Vanderbilt rushing offense
vs.
Connecticut rushing defense
EVEN  
Vanderbilt is gaining an average of 161 yards (54/120 teams) per game. The Commodores, led by Warren Norman with 111, rolled up 227 yards against Ole Miss last week. UConn allows about 160 yards (74/120 teams) per game on the ground. Senior linebacker Lawrence Wilson leads the Huskies in tackles with 39. Fellow linebacker Sio Moore had 16 tackles against Buffalo.  
 
Vanderbilt passing offense
vs.
Connecticut passing defense
 
Vandy is gaining 128 yards (113/120 teams) a game through the air. Junior quarterback Larry Smith has completed 36 of 67 passes for 383 yards a touchdown and an interception. Smith's leading receiver is tight end Brandon Barden who has 10 catches on the season. Barden suffered a foot injury against Ole Miss but is likely to play against UConn. Vanderbilt's offensive line showed improvement at Ole Miss and allowed only one sack. Redshirt freshman Wesley Johnson was named Offensive Lineman of the Week in the SEC for his performance against the Rebels. UConn is allowing 182 yards (43/120 teams) per game through the air. Sophomore defensive back Jerome Junior has two interceptions so far this season for the Huskies; both came against Buffalo on Saturday. Defensive end Jesse Joseph has two 1/2 sacks this season. UConn as a team has 9 sacks (47/120 teams) so far this season.  
 
Connecticut rushing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt rushing defense
 
Connecticut has a strong rushing game that picks up about 213 yards (26/120 teams) a game. Running back Jordan Todman is fifth nationally in rushing and averages about 150 yards rushing a game. However, he suffered an arm injury and did not play against Buffalo. Backup Robbie Frey filled in for Todman against Buffalo and rushed for 112 yards. Vanderbilt is allowing 206 rushing yards per game (105/120 teams). The Commodores are led defensively by linebacker Chris Marve who has 28 tackles this season.  
 
Connecticut passing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt passing defense
 
Connecticut averages 181 yards (92/120 teams) per game passing but the Huskies underwent a change at the quarterback position during their recent win over Buffalo. Veteran Zach Frazer was benched in favor of junior Cody Endres. Endres responded by completing 7 of 11 passes for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns. Wide receiver Michael Smith is the Huskies top pass catcher and has caught 16 so far this season. Kashif Moore has 13 catches. UConn's offensive line has allowed just four sacks this season. Vanderbilt's pass defense allows 174 yards (35/120 teams average per game). Cornerback Casey Hayward has two interceptions so far this season. Eddie Foster returned an interception for a touchdown two weeks ago at Ole Miss.  
EVEN
Special Teams
EVEN  
Vanderbilt's Ryan Fowler is 2 of 3 on the season for field goals (longest 33 yards). UConn kicker Dave Teggart is 7 of 11 his longest going for 47 yards. Teggart was involved in a fight early Tuesday morning with another Huskie player and arrested for breach of peace. It is not known whether he will play or not. Vanderbilt punter Richard Kent averages 39 yards per punt. He has excellent hang time and rarely has a punt returned. UConn punter Cole Wagner averages 38 yards per punt with his longest going for 66. Vanderbilt allows about 20 yards per kickoff return and 2 yards per punt return (only 3 have been returned). UConn is allowing about 11 yards per punt return and 20 yards per kickoff return. Warren Norman averages 23 yards per kickoff returns and Zac Stacy about 4 yards per punt return. For UConn, Robbie Frey averages 23 yards per kick return. The Huskies have several punt returners and average 10 yards per punt return.  
EVEN  
Coaching
EVEN  
Robbie Caldwell is 1-2 in his first year as Vanderbilt's head coach. Caldwell has over 34 years of experience coaching in college football. He is also has a very experienced staff of assistants. Randy Edsall (68-67) is Connecticut's all-time winningest coach.  
 
Intangibles
 
UConn is 2-0 at home this season while Vanderbilt is 1-0 on the road. Both teams are coming off big wins and each has key players whose status for the game is uncertain. Vandy is coming off a bye week which should give them an advantage in preparation time.  

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 24, Connecticut 20.

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